TRI earphone impressions - I4 and I3, Starlight, NEW Starsea
Nov 28, 2021 at 12:48 PM Post #3,436 of 3,568

PhonoPhi

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Initial Impressions of the TK-2

For those considering getting the TK-2 during the sales, these are my initial impressions.

Build
This is a well dressed tank! It not only looks solid, it feels solid and looks great to boot (to my eyes). The weight given by TRI is, 280g, which must be at the top end of portable DAC/Amps and even "transportable" DAPs. My guess is most of us would have the TK-2 tucked away in a bag or jacket when using it out and about, so the weight is more reassuring in terms of perceived quality, rather than a burden.

In terms of size, by most parameters, it is medium size. That is until you consider the thickness and in that regard it is quite thick but, thankfully it does not feel unwieldy. It is about half an inch shorter than the HA11, which is wider still but not quite as thick. The Fiio M11 is the same height but slightly thinner and wider than the TK-2, while the Littlebear B4X is the same thickness but shorter and narrower. I hope the picture helps to give you an idea of size.

Screenshot_20211128-145137_Gallery.jpg
Picture - From left to right: HA FEE HA11; TRI TK-2; Fiio M11; Littlebear B4X; Fiio BTR5 and IKKO Zerda ITM01. TRI earphone case for further reference.

Ease of use
In relation to ease of use, the TK-2 is well thought through, everything seems to be easily accessible and it does not require much getting used to, in or out of the pocket. My one criticism is that there is no battery meter, although it has a battery indicator (for on/off and low battery). However, I have not had to charge it for 6 hours and (I do not know how much charge it had out of the box) it seems to be marching on quite well, having used it at various volumes for testing, so battery life test is for the future. I see no reason why the battery meter should be a deal breaker, if battery life is 9 hours as claimed.

You get the full compliment of output connections, while input is USB C, with separate USB C charging which allows for charging while in use. You also get high and low gain which switches off at higher volumes to manage volume levels. The volume knob is smooth and a joy to use, increments in volume are gradual not in leaps.

Sound Quality
My testing tells me the TK-2 is about as neutral as you can get. At this stage of testing I get the impression that the TRI TK-2 has not been given any flavouring for additional bass, treble or mid focus. What is clearly noticeable is that every you (at least what I) thought about the particular earphone or headphone comes to the fore. A bassy set will display those tendencies in abundance, while a trebly set will let you know what treble is and so far. You neither get sibilance on the treble end nor flabbiness on the low end.

I tested, the Ikko OH1S (review to come soon) and true to form, clarity, resolution and detail retrieval to make you feel you upgraded your system.

The IMR Aten, tons of well defined bass, while rendering reassuring sub-bass. The piezos also giving as good as the Aten dynamic drivers, you get good details on a solid base of bass.

Shozy SCB2 (review to follow) great quality bass, with vibrating earpieces (I am serious the earpieces vibrate as the sub-bass is rendered) and with good mids and treble. You also get very good timbral accuracy, pianos pieces are so realistic.

TRI Starseas on bass setting, goes to good depths whilst living up to its moniker, "mini U12T" in its resolution and detail retrieval across the frequency spectrum.

So far, so good, but enough for now, more to come after further testing.

Disclosure
The TK-2 was sent to me by KBEAR/TRI as a part of a European Review Tour and will be forwarded to next reviewer in due course. However, all opinions are my own, without influence.

As always, Enjoy your music!
Great impression, Chris!
You consistent constructive positivity from TRN to TRI is truly amazing!

How does it compare to BTR5?
(A purely academic question for me though, my preferred universe is alike of E1DA and Zishan Z4 - engineeing marvels on their own)
 
Nov 28, 2021 at 12:59 PM Post #3,438 of 3,568

ChrisOc

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Thanks for the visual comparison. Very useful.
You may want to check if the charging circuit causes any interference on the outputs with sensitive earphones connected. Sometimes connecting a charger causes hiss.
I will certainly check for interference from the charging circuit.

I also aim to see how it drives Planar Magnetic earphones and headphones.
 
Nov 28, 2021 at 1:04 PM Post #3,439 of 3,568

Nick24JJ

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Initial Impressions of the TK-2

For those considering getting the TK-2 during the sales, these are my initial impressions.

Build
This is a well dressed tank! It not only looks solid, it feels solid and looks great to boot (to my eyes). The weight given by TRI is, 280g, which must be at the top end of portable DAC/Amps and even "transportable" DAPs. My guess is most of us would have the TK-2 tucked away in a bag or jacket when using it out and about, so the weight is more reassuring in terms of perceived quality, rather than a burden.

In terms of size, by most parameters, it is medium size. That is until you consider the thickness and in that regard it is quite thick but, thankfully it does not feel unwieldy. It is about half an inch shorter than the HA11, which is wider still but not quite as thick. The Fiio M11 is the same height but slightly thinner and wider than the TK-2, while the Littlebear B4X is the same thickness but shorter and narrower. I hope the picture helps to give you an idea of size.


Picture - From left to right: HA FEE HA11; TRI TK-2; Fiio M11; Littlebear B4X; Fiio BTR5 and IKKO Zerda ITM01. TRI earphone case for further reference.

Ease of use
In relation to ease of use, the TK-2 is well thought through, everything seems to be easily accessible and it does not require much getting used to, in or out of the pocket. My one criticism is that there is no battery meter, although it has a battery indicator (for on/off and low battery). However, I have not had to charge it for 6 hours and (I do not know how much charge it had out of the box) it seems to be marching on quite well, having used it at various volumes for testing, so battery life test is for the future. I see no reason why the battery meter should be a deal breaker, if battery life is 9 hours as claimed.

You get the full compliment of output connections, while input is USB C, with separate USB C charging which allows for charging while in use. You also get high and low gain which switches off at higher volumes to manage volume levels. The volume knob is smooth and a joy to use, increments in volume are gradual not in leaps.

Sound Quality
My testing tells me the TK-2 is about as neutral as you can get. At this stage of testing I get the impression that the TRI TK-2 has not been given any flavouring for additional bass, treble or mid focus. What is clearly noticeable is that every you (at least what I) thought about the particular earphone or headphone comes to the fore. A bassy set will display those tendencies in abundance, while a trebly set will let you know what treble is and so far. You neither get sibilance on the treble end nor flabbiness on the low end.

I tested, the Ikko OH1S (review to come soon) and true to form, clarity, resolution and detail retrieval to make you feel you upgraded your system.

The IMR Aten, tons of well defined bass, while rendering reassuring sub-bass. The piezos also giving as good as the Aten dynamic drivers, you get good details on a solid base of bass.

Shozy SCB2 (review to follow) great quality bass, with vibrating earpieces (I am serious the earpieces vibrate as the sub-bass is rendered) and with good mids and treble. You also get very good timbral accuracy, pianos pieces are so realistic.

TRI Starseas on bass setting, goes to good depths whilst living up to its moniker, "mini U12T" in its resolution and detail retrieval across the frequency spectrum.

So far, so good, but enough for now, more to come after further testing.

Disclosure
The TK-2 was sent to me by KBEAR/TRI as a part of a European Review Tour and will be forwarded to next reviewer in due course. However, all opinions are my own, without influence.

As always, Enjoy your music!
Thanks a lot for your impressions on this device but more importantly, thank you for the IEMs you mention! I am really looking forward to your reviews of those, as I am still looking for something to pair with my UTWS5 - which will, hopefully, arrive around December 13. I am currently testing the FiiO FH5s but they have not wow-ed me, yet... (still burning them in + bass switch is On + I am using the factory TRI I3 cable with them)
 
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Nov 28, 2021 at 1:18 PM Post #3,440 of 3,568

ChrisOc

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Great impression, Chris!
You consistent constructive positivity from TRN to TRI is truly amazing!

How does it compare to BTR5?
(A purely academic question for me though, my preferred universe is alike of E1DA and Zishan Z4 - engineeing marvels on their own)
My pleasure @ Phonophi and thank you for your high praise. I see it as as high praise, which may be symptomatic of my "condition" but I generally see the cup as half full!

I do like the convenience of the BTR5, but as you would appreciate its limitations are evident when compared to the TK-2. Apart from the TK-2 not being flavoured, it also lifts the sonic qualities of the monitors you use. Clearly, two years is a long time in the audio world and there has been much development in the mean time, as I do not have the 2021 BTR5 I cannot comment on it, and can only refer to better amplification (louder and clearer) and finesse (sgain, clarity, detail and resolution) of the TK-2 in rendering sound.

The E1DA and Zishan Z4, of which I have no experience, so I have no basis to compare, but reading about the E1DA and the novel system, I was, still am tempted.

Your review of the Zishan Z4 also lead to temptation, maybe one day!
 
Nov 28, 2021 at 1:26 PM Post #3,441 of 3,568

ChrisOc

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Thanks a lot for your impressions on this device but more importantly, thank you for the IEMs you mention! I am really looking forward to your reviews of those, as I am still looking for something to pair with my UTWS5 - which will, hopefully, arrive around December 13. I am currently testing the FiiO FH5s but they have not wow-ed me, yet... (still burning them in + bass switch in on + I am using the factory TRI I3 cable with them)
I will certainly bear your particular requirements in mind when listening to the various earphones I get the opportunity to hear.

If I remember correctly, you are looking for earphones that compliment complement TRI I3s and your preference in music is classical. Correct me if I am wrong.
 
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Nov 28, 2021 at 1:43 PM Post #3,442 of 3,568

Nick24JJ

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I will certainly bear your particular requirements in mind when listening to the various earphones I get the opportunity to hear.

If I remember correctly, you are looking for earphones that compliment complement TRI I3s and your preference in music is classical. Correct me if I am wrong.
Yes, I am looking for something as close to the TRI I3 as possible, to cooperate with the FiiO UTWS5 as good as possible, and I am listening to Electronica 90% of my day. I mean, Trance, Progressive, Techno, some House, Ambient, Psychedelic, and like that! Thanks so much! :)
 
Nov 28, 2021 at 6:47 PM Post #3,443 of 3,568

ChrisOc

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I just did some sneak peekery while burning in the Meteors. I think we have a contender for one of TRI's best IEMs, irrespective of price. The treble extension was just up there, and clean!

Caveat: it was in a moment of sneak peekery, do not kill me if what I heard was just momentary perfection!

I am off to find my final Ali bargain.
 
Nov 29, 2021 at 2:52 AM Post #3,444 of 3,568

kin HGD

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My testing tells me the TK-2 is about as neutral as you can get. At this stage of testing I get the impression that the TRI TK-2 has not been given any flavouring for additional bass, treble or mid focus.
that is why I don't like it.

I like something warmer and smoother. TK-2 does have a great power but I don't like.

different tastes, that is fine.
 
Nov 29, 2021 at 5:15 AM Post #3,445 of 3,568

Nimweth

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Initial Impressions of the TK-2

For those considering getting the TK-2 during the sales, these are my initial impressions.

Build
This is a well dressed tank! It not only looks solid, it feels solid and looks great to boot (to my eyes). The weight given by TRI is, 280g, which must be at the top end of portable DAC/Amps and even "transportable" DAPs. My guess is most of us would have the TK-2 tucked away in a bag or jacket when using it out and about, so the weight is more reassuring in terms of perceived quality, rather than a burden.

In terms of size, by most parameters, it is medium size. That is until you consider the thickness and in that regard it is quite thick but, thankfully it does not feel unwieldy. It is about half an inch shorter than the HA11, which is wider still but not quite as thick. The Fiio M11 is the same height but slightly thinner and wider than the TK-2, while the Littlebear B4X is the same thickness but shorter and narrower. I hope the picture helps to give you an idea of size.

Screenshot_20211128-145137_Gallery.jpg
Picture - From left to right: HA FEE HA11; TRI TK-2; Fiio M11; Littlebear B4X; Fiio BTR5 and IKKO Zerda ITM01. TRI earphone case for further reference.

Ease of use
In relation to ease of use, the TK-2 is well thought through, everything seems to be easily accessible and it does not require much getting used to, in or out of the pocket. My one criticism is that there is no battery meter, although it has a battery indicator (for on/off and low battery). However, I have not had to charge it for 6 hours and (I do not know how much charge it had out of the box) it seems to be marching on quite well, having used it at various volumes for testing, so battery life test is for the future. I see no reason why the battery meter should be a deal breaker, if battery life is 9 hours as claimed.

You get the full compliment of output connections, while input is USB C, with separate USB C charging which allows for charging while in use. You also get high and low gain which switches off at higher volumes to manage volume levels. The volume knob is smooth and a joy to use, increments in volume are gradual not in leaps.

Sound Quality
My testing tells me the TK-2 is about as neutral as you can get. At this stage of testing I get the impression that the TRI TK-2 has not been given any flavouring for additional bass, treble or mid focus. What is clearly noticeable is that every you (at least what I) thought about the particular earphone or headphone comes to the fore. A bassy set will display those tendencies in abundance, while a trebly set will let you know what treble is and so far. You neither get sibilance on the treble end nor flabbiness on the low end.

I tested, the Ikko OH1S (review to come soon) and true to form, clarity, resolution and detail retrieval to make you feel you upgraded your system.

The IMR Aten, tons of well defined bass, while rendering reassuring sub-bass. The piezos also giving as good as the Aten dynamic drivers, you get good details on a solid base of bass.

Shozy SCB2 (review to follow) great quality bass, with vibrating earpieces (I am serious the earpieces vibrate as the sub-bass is rendered) and with good mids and treble. You also get very good timbral accuracy, pianos pieces are so realistic.

TRI Starseas on bass setting, goes to good depths whilst living up to its moniker, "mini U12T" in its resolution and detail retrieval across the frequency spectrum.

So far, so good, but enough for now, more to come after further testing.

Disclosure
The TK-2 was sent to me by KBEAR/TRI as a part of a European Review Tour and will be forwarded to next reviewer in due course. However, all opinions are my own, without influence.

As always, Enjoy your music!
Looking forward to your review of the OH1S!
 
Nov 29, 2021 at 5:39 AM Post #3,446 of 3,568

ChrisOc

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that is why I don't like it.

I like something warmer and smoother. TK-2 does have a great power but I don't like.

different tastes, that is fine.
Absolutely, "different folks different strokes" as they say. [Just to clarify, it means we all have different tastes, just as you said].

I can understand your point of view if you want a particular flavour. However, in most cases, I opt for a slightly different flavour in my collection. The reason why I like the TK-2 is that with that sound quality and power, it lifts your earphones or headphones and highlights (but does not alter) their features.

The effect is that if you buy earphones with the sound signature you like, it shows what they are capable of, so any alterations to the sound (of the earphones) will have to be by EQ but you get tons of power.

Having said all that, over the years, we add different options to our collection, for example a tube DAC/Amp or a DAC/Amp with more (or less) bass and one day you will be surprised how well some (earphone and DAC/Amp) combinations work together. That is because we change and our tastes change with time.
 
Nov 29, 2021 at 5:48 AM Post #3,447 of 3,568

kin HGD

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Absolutely, "different folks different strokes" as they say. [Just to clarify, it means we all have different tastes, just as you said].

I can understand your point of view if you want a particular flavour. However, in most cases, I opt for a slightly different flavour in my collection. The reason why I like the TK-2 is that with that sound quality and power, it lifts your earphones or headphones and highlights (but does not alter) their features.

The effect is that if you buy earphones with the sound signature you like, it shows what they are capable of, so any alterations to the sound (of the earphones) will have to be by EQ but you get tons of power.

Having said all that, over the years, we add different options to our collection, for example a tube DAC/Amp or a DAC/Amp with more (or less) bass and one day you will be surprised how well some (earphone and DAC/Amp) combinations work together. That is because we change and our tastes change with time.
The only constant thing is that everything is changing
 
Nov 29, 2021 at 5:55 AM Post #3,448 of 3,568
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IMG_20211125_213514-01.jpegIMG_20211125_213408-01.jpegIMG_20211125_213352-01.jpegIMG_20211125_213902-01.jpegIMG_20211125_205250-01.jpegIMG_20211125_205803-01.jpegIMG_20211125_205658-01.jpeg

Just received the Tri TK-2 Dac/Amp big thanks to @WendyLi & TRI Audio for doing a review tour in Bangladesh 🇧🇩

Full review and comparison with Hiby R5 Saber & Shanling M3X daps coming soon 😊

For now having fun stacking the TK-2 with my Hiby R5s
Nice share, Thank you for holding the review tour in Bangladesh, thanks to each other, haha
 
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Nov 29, 2021 at 5:57 AM Post #3,449 of 3,568
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My KBEAR/TRI order just came in
20211126_145851_HDR.jpg

Sadly it missing a cable that I've ordered. But otherwise I'm quite happy with everything.

Due to work I haven't had any time to try things yet but I can't wait untill tonight.
missing a cable? If it is our mistake, you can ask my colleague to send the missing one to you.
 
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